Photos: Bush surprises returning troops at Dallas airport

Most of you have seen them already, I’m sure, but those who haven’t can check ’em out here. The reactions are 100 percent genuine too, needless to say: According to the CO, the troops had no idea he’d be there to greet them.

“We didn’t tell them at all what was going on,” said the leader of the welcoming group, Lt. Col. Patrick McAfee. “It was shock and awe when they walked in the double doors.”

Most of the returning service members are serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“It was a remarkable, incredible feeling for them, seeing the former commander in chief taking time to greet them,” McAfee said.

Bush handed each of the service members his commander-in-chief coin and posed for pictures for everyone. Photos from the event showed the surprise on the faces of many of the troops.

“For the first time in my life, I was star struck,” McAfee said. “He obviously still loves the military.”

One of the volunteers on the scene reports that there were salutes all around. Even most lefties, I think, would concede that Bush has been an exemplary ex-president, gracious in not only his refusal to attack Obama despite the constant fingerpointing by the White House but his willingness to help out with causes like Haiti earthquake relief at The One’s request. Makes me wonder how the endless “blame Bush” refrain from Democrats would be playing right now if Dubya had gone the Cheney route and been more of a thorn in Obama’s side. Granted, Bush still gets more blame for the state of the economy in polls than O does, but I suspect it’s much harder to leverage that to mobilize voters — especially lefty base voters — without some sort of Bush-as-antichrist optics to concentrate their minds. The classier he is, the tougher it is to scapegoat him. Alas for poor Barry.

Update: Actually, maybe Bush isn’t getting most of the blame for the economy anymore after all.